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MSELEANOR1957 SparkPoints: (29,017)
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Posts: 271
6/14/13 12:25 P

I walk because my doctor told me I need to exercise and he indicating "Walking" would be a great exercise for me... I do other stuff but I walk at least an hour a day and log it as exercise.

LOISLANE33 SparkPoints: (4,897)
Fitness Minutes: (6,130)
Posts: 20
6/14/13 12:08 P

Absolutely yes! Walking counts! If you do nothing else or if you are not in physical condition to take on extreme exercise, this is a great place to start! From there, you can progress to bike riding and then maybe fast walk/jog. So pull out some good walking shoes or sneakers and start today!

RENATA144 SparkPoints: (207,563)
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Posts: 49,480
6/14/13 11:52 A


PAULARUTH415 SparkPoints: (3)
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Posts: 1
6/14/13 11:28 A

What is the fitbit? I'm looking for any easy way to track my steps.

CHERIJ16 Posts: 2,239
6/14/13 10:11 A

I do 10,000 steps with my fitbit each day but if I don't count that as exercise unless I have spent at least 10 minutes walking fast enough to elevate my heart rate. It is easier for me to get both in when I get on my treadmill but sometimes I get lazy and just get my 10,000 steps by walking around Walmart, etc.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
6/14/13 9:11 A

If it elevates your heart rate- yes. If not- no.

KATHY433 Posts: 389
6/14/13 6:07 A

I think it depends on your fitness level if you should count walking.
As you said, you are a very active person. Therefore, I doubt walking is "pushing" you or causing you to burn a lot of extra calories. I'd track it for the sake of keeping a record, but, as suggested before, maybe as a custom exercise - that way you know you did it when you check at a later time, but you don't have it giving you crazy amounts of calories burned.
A lot of people use walking as their primary exercise since it is so easy to do and you can do it with a relativly low fitness level. Especially for someone just starting out to exercise, Id definately count it.
I personally bike around town a lot (I don't own a car) and go on 20-30 min walks almost every day, but I don't count that. For me, that is just part of my "normal" lifestyle. If I burn a few extra calories in the process, that's great. My little rule of thumb is if i get in exercise clothes for it, I count it, if not, then not :).

GRAPHICS2 Posts: 13,944
6/13/13 9:13 P

From my understanding, walking is a very good way to exercise, and most people are able to walk.. emoticon emoticon emoticon

LAINGMOM Posts: 472
6/13/13 8:22 P

Walking and running burn the same calories per mile. It's just that you cover that mile so much faster when you run. But running is hard on the knees, hips, back and feet. When you walk, the heel bone strikes the ground creating a biochemical reaction that strengthens your bones against osteoporosis. So walk away! But challenge yourself by walking faster, up and down more hills, or longer at least once a week.

PROPMAN1 Posts: 4,486
6/13/13 4:12 P

Still stand by what I've said: "walking IS exercise!" Maybe it doesn't use as many calories as a run but it saves your knees and does expend calories. BAH, HUMBUG on anyone who says walking 'isn't' exercise!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,048
6/13/13 4:02 P

And, because I knew there was a difference in walking and running, but thought it was negligible, I had to go do some research and apparently I was wrong.

WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,048
6/13/13 3:57 P

I'm a little confused because you seem to be equating heartrate with calories burned. Heart rate is a measure of the effort put into it, but isn't reflective of calories burned. Just because I run doesn't negate the mile and a half I go with my dog at the off leash park.

Calories are burned whether you raise your heartrate or not and when it comes to SP determining how many calories you should eat, calories burned counts, not heartrate. If you're walking for 2-3 hours, even slowly, you're burning a significant amount of calories. From what I've read the average 140lb woman burns 100 calories per mile, more if it's varied terrain. Say you're walking 3mph for 2 hours - that's 600 calories.

That's more than I burn in a 30 minute run.

It's a significant number when you're trying to maintain a specific balance for your calorie deficit.

GR8FUL4HEALTH SparkPoints: (522)
Fitness Minutes: (8,825)
Posts: 30
6/13/13 3:34 P

Absolutely yes. I keep track of my steps with the fitbit. I have logged 13146 steps so far. Keeps me motivated - that is the cornerstone of my exercise.

6/13/13 3:18 P

sure why not

INKYBINX Posts: 48
6/13/13 2:39 P

Of course walking is excercise. Itry to walk 3-6 miles a day. sometimes I do, sometimes i don't. but i walk instead of wasting 3 dollars on the bus every time. Most definitely,walking is exercise. But here's the trick: I have to make sure not to put the calories right back in after walking a good 4 miles. I make sure not to soil all that work in two minutes with a muffin afterwards. don't put the calories right back in, because that will sabotage everything. Great question. Be encouraged, and well done!. emoticon emoticon

BOBBYJUNE Posts: 139
6/13/13 1:57 P

I often walk to work in the morning, about two miles. If I feel good I will walk home. I do this a couple days a week.

CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (72,909)
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6/13/13 11:52 A

Hi Jenni,

I'm having trouble finding where to adjust activity level for BMR on Spark now too. That may have been a feature they had in place back when I oringally set up my profile, or I could just be missing it. Basically, most BMR calculators will ask you to enter an activity level multiplier, so it'll calculate your BMR for weight, age, height and gender (what your body would typically burn if you were sitting still all day), and then multiply that by your activity level. Spark does have a BMR 'calculator' (actually just an article with the formula), but this one doesn't include that activity multiplier. I believe this is the same formula SP uses when they create your calorie range:

If that's the case now, than it probably is assuming everyone is lightly active. If you're interested, it might be worth asking a Spark Coach on the technical forums if there's a way to adjust your activity multiplier when the site is calculating your BMR or if all extra activity has to be entered separately.

As for your hikes, I think the best solution would be keeping a close eye on your heart rate monitor throughout the whole hike (I'm assuming you have one, since you mention your heart rate in the OP). It sounds like you're moving at varying speeds and intensities, so a HRM would show you how your body is responding to it and give you an approximate calorie burn total. Depending on what you have, you could also drill down deeper to get more information - My Garmin will graph my heart rate for me against my speed and elevation, and I get some very good information from that. You might be surprised, especially if you're doing a lot of climbing.

You and I are around the same age, height and weight, as well as the same starting weights. I think my solution would be to wear the Garmin on a hike so I could analyze it later and figure out if it was something I wanted to track. Normally, if my HR was below 100 bpm for most of it, my instinct would probably be to count it as bonus activity rather than formal exercise, but the fact that you're doing it fairly frequentely (up to eight hours per week) would make me pause. I'd probably end up taking the calorie burn total from my watch, maybe rounding it down a bit, and adding it in just so I had a record of it. Not so much because it's going to change anything, but because those little extra hundred calories do add up. As an example, I was doing a marathon clinic that was a little over a kilometer from my house. While I normally wouldn't have included the commute to and from the meeting place in my fitness minutes, I ended up tacking an extra 2k on to my runs to account for it. Normally, the extra 12 minutes of running would have fallen under everyday movement from point A to point B for me, but when my mileage started to really pile up, it was important to acknowledge the extra 10k per week that I was running on top of my normal training mileage. You may be hiking enough that it adds up to an extra 500 - 100 calories burned per week, and that would be good information to have.

6/13/13 11:47 A

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do---and that everyone can do. It is the first step you can take to improve your health. Think of it---can someone who is 350 lbs run a marathon? I think not--that person would most likely be too out of shape and collapse from respiratory or cardiac problems. But can that same person walk at a leisurely rate? Definitely. And as you walk more, you get into better shape, allowing you to walk at a faster rate.
And if anyone wants a great exercise, especially for your legs, find a clogging group near you.
You will definitely love it.

PROPMAN1 Posts: 4,486
6/13/13 11:35 A

Absolutely you should count walking as exercise. Why? Because it is! Has nothing at all to do with being lazy or anyhting like that - it can use up calories and build muscle. emoticon emoticon emoticon

SLIMLILA SparkPoints: (100,502)
Fitness Minutes: (38,831)
Posts: 6,657
6/13/13 11:22 A

I do,cuz I'm b being very lazy - for who knows what reason - and that's all I'm really doing, and not even every day....

ICEANGEL0531 Posts: 1,858
6/13/13 11:09 A

YES!!!! Walking is my main fitness activity. My daily goal is to walk 10,000 steps, it is not a hard goal to obtain. I walk around my neighborhood which has allot of uphill, I carry a backpack (@ least weighing 10lbs) w/ plenty of water, & if I'm walking w/ my dogs, I have snacks for them. I change up my pace from walking slow, to moderate, then fast & start again slow. I have bad knees so I cannot run. I get a good cardio workout. I recommend purchasing a pedometer that track steps, time, calories burned., & a motivational walking DVD or downloading music that will keep you going on your walks. You will surprised how easy walking 10,000 steps & more is.

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
6/13/13 11:09 A

It depends. I walk in my neighborhood to run errands, and I don't count it. I do count walking that I do specifically for exercise.

6/13/13 10:56 A

Absolutely! Walking is hard on my feet, but with practice, I will get better. Slow at first, then faster and longer.

GYPSYROVER Posts: 3,240
6/13/13 10:54 A

I know many, many people who have "walked off" ALL of their excess weight! I'm not talking about speed walking, either! I think when you go from being totally sedentary and eating unconsciously, to portion control and consistent activity you are going to see a difference!

Kudos to ALL forms of exercise! Variety is the spice of life! Have fun & be creative!

GUSGUS02 SparkPoints: (43,790)
Fitness Minutes: (30,479)
Posts: 1,213
6/13/13 10:49 A


HEAVENLYCHILD83 Posts: 3,440
6/13/13 10:38 A

Most definitely! It's free and so easy to do.

LOSER05 SparkPoints: (500,155)
Fitness Minutes: (123,129)
Posts: 24,704
6/13/13 10:33 A

Online Now  • ))

B1MCHUGH Posts: 6
6/13/13 10:24 A

I think of walking as exercise, especially since getting a fitbit. Then you get to see how many calories you burn on a 10k or 15k step day!

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
6/13/13 10:18 A

Not as opposed to anything, walking in and of itself is an exercise.

GALINAZ Posts: 743
6/13/13 10:05 A

As opposed to what, sitting and watching TV? surfing on the computer? sleeping? Yes, walking counts. It may not burn lots of calories or spike your heart rate but you get stretching, muscle building and balance benefits.

BAPSANN Posts: 1,448
6/13/13 9:55 A


LAZY_DAVE Posts: 21
6/13/13 9:29 A

Walking like that is a physical activity, which is good, but not exercise as its usually defined. Exercise is planned, structured and repetitive with a specific goal attached. Like walking, or running, on a treadmill for a specifc distance or time and keeping your heart rate at a certain level. If you are pretty fit walking is not going to get your heart rate high enough, as you found out. But activities like hiking or sports are great to do and should be included in a fitness program.

SHANNONY84 SparkPoints: (23,666)
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Posts: 2,536
6/13/13 9:17 A

Most certainty!

WALLINMW SparkPoints: (300,356)
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Posts: 8,991
6/13/13 9:06 A

Absolutely....10K steps a day adds up!

GOLFDAVE43 SparkPoints: (11,093)
Fitness Minutes: (14,206)
Posts: 39
6/13/13 8:25 A

I think walking should be tracked as exercise

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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Posts: 2,489
6/13/13 8:19 A

VIKINGSMOMDE- Yes, they are a new activity. I started in April of this year. Although I've always done a couple hikes in the spring and fall but no where near as often or for as long as I've been doing this year.

I've been trying to underestimate my speed and duration when I have been tracking. There are times we walk faster and slower. Times we stop to look at something. Times the kids and I have a race or I jog to catch up with my husband. Some of our hikes top 2.5 hours (which is about all I'm willing to put my children through! Although my 5 year old LOVES our walks and could keep going forever it seems and my 3 year old hops in and out of her stroller).

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/13/2013 (08:29)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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6/13/13 8:12 A

BARBANA- I am neither pre-menopausal nor menopausal. I'm 30 years old. And I already have an exercise program where I do interval training, metabolic resistance training, circuit training and strength training. I do high intensity cardio for calorie burn and I've already reached my goal weight, just trying to shed a few extra pounds gained from transitioning to maintenance. I also said, I hike with my family which involves my young children. So speed walking/jogging isn't an option and my hikes are for leisure, not necessarily calorie burn.

Like I said, I just want to know if my hikes are worth tracking since I am already at a high fitness level and they don't really get my heart rate up or if I should track because they are often and of a longish duration.

VIKINGSMOMDE SparkPoints: (29,537)
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6/13/13 7:46 A

These hikes are newer activities, right?

If so, I think you are right in tracking them.

I walk a fair amount for work (both before & after weightloss) and don't track it. However, I do track the 'extra' walks I do over my usual average. So, for example, if I typically walk 15k steps & have a day when I hit 22K, I'll give myself a little fitness credit for those 3 extra miles.

It doesn't usually make a difference in my caloric intake but does help me track my deficit more carefully. I found out through trial & error that if I don't track the extra movement, my deficit gets too big & my weightloss slows down.

BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
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6/12/13 6:45 P

Walking is a weight bearing exercise and that's even better than swimming for a women who is menopausal or peri-menipausal. If you are just walking very slow and short distances it will take a long time to burn calories. Race walking is ideal or jogging and walking is even better. Running is the best for loosing weight.

SKINMINA SparkPoints: (41,498)
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6/12/13 6:07 P

I only track those activities where I believe my heart rate is elevated.....

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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6/12/13 4:03 P

I already know about entering your weekly calorie burn manually. I just don't recall an option when setting up my account that allowed me to pick sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, etc.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (255,972)
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6/12/13 1:16 P

@Jenni - I know that you can update that info, but darned if I can find it right now!

check this - from the START page, on the left side, CALORIES TO BURN THIS WEEK, click CHANGE GOAL and you can see some info. There is a place to enter how many calories you burn each week. Maybe that would help?

Edited by: OBIESMOM2 at: 6/12/2013 (13:19)
COOKIE352 Posts: 443
6/12/13 12:34 P

yes, I walk 1 -2 hours daily

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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6/12/13 11:19 A

I don't remember what I put as my activity level, I thought Spark automatically sets it to "light activity". Is there a way I can check?

CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (72,909)
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6/12/13 11:08 A

I'm in a similar position. Sometimes my husband and I will go for long-ish walks (5-10k) at a slower pace than what I need to get my heart rate up. I also don't have a car, so I walk to and from work, to the grocery store, etc. I run five days a week, so as a targeted workout, walking, even at a fast pace, doesn't put me in a category where I'd track it as exercise.

When I originally set up my fitness goals, I took the walking into account by not selecting 'sedentary' as my base activity level (I work a desk job, so if I didn't have a walking commute during the day, sedentary would be accurate). Basically, the walking is already calculated into my BMR, so counting it again as separate exercise would be double dipping for me.

Sometimes I still want to track an activity because I think it's significant enough to count the fitness minutes even though it's not what I would count as a true workout (like when my hubby and I do our long walks together). In that case, I'll either wear a heart rate monitor to get a good read on how hard I've actually worked, or I'll enter the activity as a custom exercise with a very low calorie burn. I do the same with yoga - I want to add it because it's good for me and seeing it on my tracker encourages me to do it, but it's not burning many more calories than watching TV would. Entering it as a custom exercise lets me acknowledge that I've taken 45 minutes of my day to do a fitness-related activity without artificially inflating the calorie burn.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (255,972)
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6/12/13 10:06 A

also, Jen - my HR stats for what I don't count are similar to yours.

TCANNO SparkPoints: (368,747)
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6/12/13 9:45 A

yes. It is the biggest part of my exercising and I walk up to around 40 mile a week

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (255,972)
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Posts: 14,965
6/12/13 9:09 A

Jenni - I'm usually pretty active (lots of spin classes, fast walking, running, bleacher workouts, Tabata, etc.) For me, I don't track the 'extra walking'.

Example - I recently had a girl's week at the beach. I was up and out by 6 every morning for a bike ride, run or walk on my own. I counted that as exercise. The walking on the beach with the group I did not count. The pace was much slower. I just figured it was a little extra movement than what I'd get at home.

when your hiking is on some serious inclines and your HR gets up there, yeah - I'd count that!

Edited by: OBIESMOM2 at: 6/12/2013 (09:09)
MRSTIGHTWAD SparkPoints: (1,172)
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Posts: 80
6/12/13 8:49 A

Yes. I walk a truckload at work....between 3-8 hours a night that I work, and I intentionally push myself to walk the majority at 3.5 mph. (Being a server has it's benefits) I have lost 3" off of my body in pushing myself harder. Plus I hit the gym and push some heavy weight as well, but the walking high speed at work has kept my heart rate up a bit higher. I also just started cross fit.

I even create workouts with housework! I do dishes on my toes, vacuum and clean surfaces at a higher speed just to get my heart rate up and/or work the muscles harder. Then I will hit the workout seriously since housework obviously makes for a nice warm

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
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6/12/13 7:44 A

My family and I do a lot of nature hiking. Usually 3-4x a week where we walk for an hour and a half to two and a half hours. It's not at a fast pace, I'd guess between 2-3 miles/hr. But the thing is; I'm pretty fit and it doesn't get my heart rate up much. I go from a resting heart rate of 50-60 bpm to maybe 70-80 bpm.

I have been tracking our hikes, anything over an hour but should I really be tracking it or just consider any extra calories burned as a bonus? Most walks avg. between 1 1/2-2 hours. It doesn't effect my calorie range but just curious for personal reference in estimating my calorie deficit.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/12/2013 (07:45)
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